Innovation in Spokane

One way to measure innovation in an area is to count the number of granted patent applications, per 100,000 population.

This chart is from the Spokane Vitals 2010 document issued by Greater Spokane, Inc.

As you can see, from 2004 to 2008, the rate of patent applications in Spokane fell sharply. But the devil is in the details and is influenced by the choice of starting date.

In 1998, Spokane had 50 patents issued per 100,000 population. By that measure, over the coming decade, patents issued fell by -75%, not the -17.8% shown in the GSI chart. The 1998 figure is from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In fact, the patent rate was approximately 50 for the years 1997 to 1999 Рand even 33 back in 1990.  Local patent production is today a fraction of what it was twenty years ago.

Based on the sharp drop in the patent rate in the Spokane MSA, Spokane’s science and technology innovation ability has plummeted.

Update November 25, 2010:

The following chart shows patent growth in the State of Washington from 2000 to 2004. This graphic comes from the WATechCenter. Unfortunately, this chart does not over lap the table, above, and they stopped producing this report after 2006.

The following chart shows patents relative to other regions. As noted above, Spokane was approximately 4x greater in the period 1997-1999.

5 Responses to Innovation in Spokane

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